It seems that many people still prefer to build their houses out of wood and bricks. However, the new trends aim to question the status quo of concrete construction worldwide. The latest hit in the industry seems to be the construction of modern concrete houses using concrete blocks or exposed concrete. Prefabricated modules allow you to build a concrete house and construct the walls and other parts of your home as if you were playing with Lego bricks. So you can use this building material in a number of different ways to create some very interesting designs. Furthermore, due to the various advances in the cement industry, concrete has also become a very sustainable material for the environment.
Building a modern concrete house – examples from architecture
So concrete is an extremely durable, versatile and sustainable building material, as you will see from the examples below. As a robust material, it can withstand extreme weather conditions and, as a pore-free material, is also low-maintenance. It is characterized by an excellent thermal mass, which reduces the energy consumption for heating and cooling. Compared to other materials, concrete also requires less energy to manufacture and has low CO2 emissions.
Forget your prejudices – concrete can do much more than just create blatant, functional structures. With a little creativity, this underrated and inexpensive building material can create architectural wonders that improve modern life. Enter the fascinating world of concrete construction and take a look at its advantages, because the material is anything but cold. So if you’re looking to build a concrete house and are a fan of minimalist architecture, you can take inspiration from some of our suggestions made from the raw, versatile material.
Maison 0.82 in France
This modern villa in the south of France combines textured concrete and warm wood. In this way, the architects have created harmony between the house and its surroundings. A significant part of the floor plan is dedicated to a covered concrete terrace, which is easily accessible through floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room. A circular skylight built into the roofing of the terrace allows residents to dine al fresco while being protected from direct sunlight. It also opens up the living room and kitchen to natural daylight, which is particularly beneficial in the darker winter months.
Designed by Pascual Architecte, this unique feature gives the house an unexpected twist and emphasizes its modern minimalist flair. If you were to build a concrete house like this, you could all too often associate it with dark and heavy rooms, but here the wood-clad concrete ceiling, white plaster walls, and neutral furnishings create a sense of lightness. The impressive project was completed on a reasonable budget of just EUR 425,000.
Build a concrete house – A farmhouse in Australia
The architects created this highly exposed house with sea views with thick concrete walls supported by a steel frame. The angular concrete structure with sloping outer walls was selected for its durability and resistance to erosion and blends in wonderfully with the hilly rural landscape. The addition of floor-to-ceiling panes of glass also creates an interplay between indoor and outdoor areas and offers a panoramic view of the sea. The designers created a central courtyard, an outdoor pool and supporting pillars in the outdoor area with different colors, textures and surfaces made of concrete.
Inside, the room emphasizes a minimalist aesthetic through the use of concrete, weathered hardwood, and glass as the main components. Built by Join Constructions, polished concrete floors create a smooth surface that brightens the interior, while sliding glass doors allow access to the pool area. An open kitchen / dining room with a light concrete ceiling slopes elegantly towards the sea, while a combination of polished concrete and wooden furniture underlines the overall clean feel of the property. Another full length glass opens the kitchen towards a concrete terrace.
The so-called equestrian house in Argentina
This one-story concrete house on the Costa Esmeralda coast was designed by the architectural office Luciano Kruk in Buenos Aires and combines wood concrete with wood, glass panes and a metal frame to create a quickly built home that is as inexpensive and beautiful as possible. Blackened wood and bronze-colored aluminum window frames blur the lines between the house and the surrounding acacia forest, while the textured concrete walls soften the overall feel and pale concrete floors create a clean aesthetic.
A central wood stove in the open living room also offers a cozy focal point for the winter months. The master bedroom has its own bathroom, yoga room and private terrace. A built-in concrete wardrobe also offers a stylish storage solution. Additional concrete furniture can be found in the kitchen, which includes a countertop and dining table made from industrial material.
Casa Vila Matilde in Brazil
This compact, modern house was designed by architects Terra e Tuma for an elderly lady. She lives in the community of Vila Matilde in São Paulo, Brazil. Due to the limited budget, the team used affordable concrete blocks and slabs as the main building material to build this house in a particularly tight space. Inside the narrow building there is a living room on the ground floor, a kitchen, a bathroom and a master bedroom.
Light gray concrete walls create a clean and modern aesthetic, while the poured concrete floors reflect natural light and brighten and emphasize something that would otherwise have been a dark and cramped space. A small green inner courtyard also offers welcome light, ventilation and a private shaded area for the resident, who can enjoy nature in this way. The upper floor of the property also offers a guest room and a roof terrace, which is currently growing a flowering vegetable garden.
Shift house in South Korea
The two-story house on the green outskirts of Icheon in South Korea proves with its striking striped facade that you can use concrete playfully and creatively. This unique residence with an area of 2239 square meters is the work of innovative architects STPMJ. The fascinating cream cake effect was achieved through a number of techniques, including optimizing the water-cement ratio and the amount of pigment used in the concrete.
In a process that took 22 days, concrete workers carefully poured the patterned walls, using a different mix each day. Arranged at right angles, the property’s separate two-story buildings can accommodate up to three families at the same time. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors and a spacious stone terrace reinforce the relationship between indoor and outdoor areas. White surfaces and wooden floors reflect the simplicity of the building.
Build a concrete house – House R in Italy
This compact house in Valdere, Northern Italy was designed for a couple looking to build an affordable vacation home. A roof angled at 45 degrees slopes upwards towards its highest corners and creates two sleeping areas in the attic. The architects chose reinforced concrete as the building material, which contributed to further reducing costs. The team deliberately exposed the concrete walls inside, while polished concrete floors help to distribute the light in a predominantly open space.
A double high ceiling in the living room emphasizes length and proportions and creates a light and airy environment in a small space. Wooden windows and sliding glass doors let in the sunlight and provide access to the private courtyard. Solid wood elements in the kitchen, living room and bathroom create a connection between the house and the surrounding forest landscape. In this way you soften the cool concrete walls and floors. The house designed by 35a Studio also has two sleeping areas on the mezzanine, both of which overlook the living room. An abundance of natural light filters out any room with a little help from well-designed skylights.
Mommy house in Portugal
Believe it or not, this house near Porto was built for less than EUR 102,000. Given the task of building a single family home on a budget, the architect decided to build a simple cuboid building using concrete as the building material. In this way, the architect was able to keep structural costs down. In order to stay within the budget of the project, the interior of the property was furnished with simple materials consisting of raw concrete slabs and wooden furniture.
Simple, floor-to-ceiling glass surfaces in the living room, kitchen and bedrooms let in light while you enjoy the view of the garden. The decision for a light, open layout created the illusion of a much larger space on the compact lot, but hidden spots like this kitchen island and breakfast bar were designed with a cozy, family-friendly atmosphere in mind. The property designed by NOARQ has three bedrooms, a master suite and two smaller rooms. All bedrooms have been minimally designed with raw concrete walls and wooden floors. Wood-framed panes of glass highlight the concrete walls and allow every room to be flooded with daylight.
The Kontum House in Vietnam
This one story house in Vietnam was built from concrete blocks that were molded and poured by the owners. A cost-effective solution for saving energy was created by building a perforated concrete facade that ventilates the property and keeps it cool in Vietnam’s sun-drenched climate. An open plan living room and kitchen at the front of the property provide stylish, industrial-inspired living spaces. The perforated concrete creates playful patterns of light and shadow on the walls, while the polished concrete floor helps reflect the light in the room.
The property is only 246 square meters and offers many clever functions in a small space. Using over 1,300 square concrete blocks, the geometric screen at the front of the house flanks a wall of windows. The residents can open these so that a cool breeze flows through the main living room. So this was particularly important for Khuon Studio given the tropical location of the house, which suffers from strong sunlight.
Casa Caja in Mexico
Thanks to the help of S-AR Architects and the Comunidad Vitex housing project, a family of five in Monterrey, Mexico has finally achieved their dream of owning their first home. The two-story house built from concrete blocks was cheap and stylish to build. La Casa Caja or the “Box House” consists of a series of box-like structures that are neatly slit next to and one above the other. The central box offers an open living and dining area with exposed concrete stone walls and concrete floors.
So if you’re building a concrete house like this, it can’t just be an affordable building material. The building material also helps keep the house cool in hot weather conditions. Large panes of glass create the illusion of spaciousness and at the same time allow light to flow into the living area. Charitable help and construction by the local community reduced the total cost of building Casa Caja to EUR 9,000, making this house an extremely cost-effective project that could pave the way for affordable housing projects in the future.
Building a concrete house – Stamp House in Australia
At first glance, the Stamp House looks like it is floating on the surface of a lake. In reality, the otherworldly concrete residence juts out from the edge of the coast, creating the ultimate optical illusion. With a distinctive indented facade, the property resembles its namesake. This is particularly suitable as the house was built for a stamp collector. While the architecture is pretty incredible, the futuristic design also has a practical function. The sturdy concrete house was built to withstand the area’s strong cyclones. At the same time, the self-supporting structure also minimizes the effects of flooding.
The interior of the house designed by Wright Architects is equally impressive. A large open-plan living room houses the kitchen, dining area, living room and fitness room. Thus, all these rooms are protected under a vaulted ceiling made of concrete beams. Bedrooms flank this area in secluded wings and provide private spaces for relaxing and sleeping. The residence is completely off-grid. Solar panels generate electricity and a water system recycles the drinking water. However, the favorite feature has to be the swimming pool, which is in the courtyard.